If you are heading to Yosemite National Park, you are going to need somewhere to stay. Luckily, as the third most-visited national park in the country, there is no shortage of hotels, hostels, and other lodgings in the area. Here, we want to look at some of the best of them. We have something to fit absolutely every budget here!
Where to Stay in Yosemite National Park
Yosemite Valley Lodge
The best place for a stay is the Yosemite Valley Lodge. It’s located right next to the park entrance and offers great views of Half Dome, El Capitan, Bridalveil Fall, Vernal Falls, Nevada Fall and Glacier Point. The rooms are comfortable with all modern amenities including cable TV, Wi-Fi access, air conditioning, refrigerator, microwave oven, coffee maker, hair dryer, ironing board, safe deposit box and more.
Curry Village has tent cabins that can accommodate up to six people each. They have electricity but no running water or bathroom facilities. You will need your own sleeping bag, pillow, towel and toiletries. There are also some yurts available if you want something bigger than a tent cabin.
Rush Creek Lodge
This lodge is one of my favorite places to stay because it’s so close to the action yet feels like an oasis away from it all. Rush Creek Lodge is set on 10 acres surrounded by meadows and forest. Each room at this rustic log lodge features two queen beds, private bath, fireplace, kitchenette, dining area and porch. If you don’t feel like cooking there are several restaurants nearby where you can grab dinner before heading back to camp.
Yosemite View Lodge
If you prefer staying in a hotel over camping then Yosemite View Lodge is perfect for you. This historic property was built as a hunting lodge in 1879 and now serves as a bed & breakfast inn. All guestrooms feature fireplaces, balconies, flat screen TVs, DVD players, coffeemakers, refrigerators, microwaves, hairdryers, irons, ironing boards and much more. Some even offer spectacular valley views!
These are not really hotels per se but they do provide clean bathrooms and showers. Housekeeping Camps are usually found near trailheads and along popular hiking routes. These sites are open year round and reservations aren’t required. However, most visitors choose to book their stays through online booking services.
Located just outside Mariposa Grove, this lodge provides guests with a quiet retreat while still being within walking distance of many attractions. Guests enjoy free continental breakfasts every morning and evening meals prepared using fresh ingredients grown locally. Rooms include king size beds, televisions, wireless internet access, mini fridges, microwaves, safes, desks, chairs and other basic necessities.
Majestic Yosemite Hotel
One of the oldest lodges in Yosemite, Majestic Yosemite Hotel opened its doors in 1899. Today, it remains true to its original mission – providing comfort and hospitality to travelers who come to see nature’s beauty. Located directly across from Curry Village, the hotel boasts magnificent mountain vistas and sweeping lawns dotted with majestic trees. Its spacious lobby welcomes guests with warm wood paneled walls, antique furnishings and cozy seating areas.
Where to Camp in Yosemite
There are three main types of accommodations when visiting Yosemite: Backcountry Campsites, Group Campgrounds and Lodging Facilities. The following list includes information about these options.
Campfires are allowed only in designated locations throughout the park. Most backpacker-style campsites require reservations which must be made well ahead of time. Reservations may be made via phone or website. You will need your reservation number and credit card details to make payment. There is no fee associated with making a reservation so if you plan to stay overnight in one of these spots consider doing some research first to ensure that you have enough supplies to last until check out day.
Most group campgrounds allow tents and trailers up to 30 feet long. They also accept reservations. Many of them charge fees ranging anywhere between $10-$25 depending upon season and length of stay. If you don’t want to pay for an entire site then ask at the front desk where you can pitch your tent on a walkway area instead. This option is often available during busy times like summer months.
Yosemite has several lodging facilities located inside the park including cabins, motels, inns and resorts. All of these places feature rooms equipped with private baths, cable television, refrigerators, air conditioning, telephones and sometimes hot tubs. Rates vary greatly based on location, amenities offered and availability. For example, rates at Wawona Inn range from around $100/night for standard double occupancy to over $400/night for deluxe suites.
How to Get Around Yosemite
The best way to get around Yosemite is by car. It is possible to drive all roads into the park but this requires careful planning as there are numerous road closures due to weather conditions. Roads leading to Glacier Point, Badger Pass Ski Area, Tioga Road and Hetch Hetchy Valley are closed most days because they cross high elevation passes. These roads usually open again after heavy snowfall ends. Other roads such as El Capitan Meadow Rd., Crane Flat Rd
Where to Eat in Yosemite
If you are looking for something more than just fast food try any of the restaurants listed below. Each offers unique dining experiences while still maintaining their commitment to serving fresh local ingredients prepared using traditional methods. Some offer outdoor patio seating too!
Mountain Room Restaurant
Located at Yosemite Valley lodge, the Mountain Room restaurant offers stunning views of the 2,400 foot high Yosemite Falls. Menu items include sizzling steaks and fresh seafood. Chef’s specials include sustainable fish and seafood in compliance with the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch List.
Degnan’s Restaurant offers a variety of menu items including deli sandwiches, pizza, breakfast favorites, coffee/espresso drinks, baked goods and soft drinks. There are numerous seating areas to relax and enjoy a light meal.
Tuolumne Meadows Grill
The Tuolumme Meadows Grill is open seasonably after the Tioga Pass Road opens and Tuolumme Meadows becomes accessible via the road. They offer simple made to order breakfasts and lunches that can ease the soul of any weary traveler after a long trip.
Best Times to Go Yosemite National Park
Springtime is when many people visit Yosemite so it makes sense to go during spring or fall if you have time constraints. Summer brings crowds and heat which may make some activities difficult.
Winter is great for skiing and other winter sports but not everyone wants to brave freezing temperatures. The best time to visit Yosemite depends entirely on what you plan to do.
If you want to see waterfalls then summer would be your best bet since they tend to flow better in warmer months. However, if you prefer hiking trails and wildlife viewing then autumn might be the perfect time to travel.
If you like camping then late September through October will give you plenty of opportunities to pitch a tent without worrying about rain.
Yosemite National Park has been called “America’s Favorite Wilderness” and we couldn’t agree more. This national treasure is one of our favorite places to explore and spend quality family time together. We hope you enjoyed reading about our experience exploring Yosemite National Park and wish you safe travels wherever you decide to venture next.
Remember; this is just a small smattering of the best places to stay in Yosemite. We could have listed dozens and dozens of places. However, if you head to any of the places on this list, you know that you are going to be staying in a place that is among the best of the best. You should check these places out first.